While Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf continues to work with the Southern Environmental Law Center and other environmental organizations to challenge the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in the courts, he has also been working with the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance to develop its Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI). The purpose of this is to ensure that the ACP construction follows its permits and protects the headwaters of the Shenandoah River as well as other rivers and streams in Virginia.
Visit and use the CSI website as a resource for important background information on the program as well as to sign up to be a volunteer. The ACP CSI is also starting up a Pipeline Air Force to conduct overflights of the pipeline route. They are seeking volunteer pilots and drone operators to obtain evidence grade data and aerial imagery of pipeline construction areas and provide input to the Pipeline CSI Environmental and Forensic Review Teams evaluating incidents of surface water pollution or other permit violations.
In addition, the WV/VA Pipeline Visual Assessment Program, developed by Trout Unlimited and West Virginia Rivers Coalition, supports and trains volunteer citizen observers to identify, document and report pollution incidents associated with large-scale pipeline development.
Through a series of evening webinar trainings, volunteers learn about erosion control best management practices used in pipeline development, specific examples of pollution to look for, and how to best document those problems. The next webinar is Tuesday, March 27th — 7:00pm-8:30pm (click here to register). Can’t make the live webinar? They’ll send all registrants a recording of the webinar to view.
Virginia DEQ inspectors and enforcement staff were overtaxed before this massive Atlantic Coast Pipeline project was approved, so we definitely can’t rely on the state to aggressively monitor it going forward. Without the citizen watchdogs, irreversible environmental damage could be inflicted on our beautiful streams and forests.